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During breakfast, Since I am considering becoming a JET, Japanese English Teacher, Josh thought it would be good for me to watch a documentary about foreigners in Japan and their perceptions. The documentary brought to light many issues within Japanese culture such as police abuse of power, the artificially high conviction rate, and lack of critical or alternative media. The documentary also talked about many good aspects of Japan such as the relative safety, and great cultural activities.

In Osaka city we dropped through a nerd, gamer, anime, porn, electronics area known as “Den-Den Town”. First we dropped into a vintage video game store.  There were shelves lined with games and consoles systems I had never seen and many I had. If I had room I would have loved to look for an old Atari; me and my aunt used to play some Atari games until we got a NES.

We continued down the street passing more stores selling games and action figures of anime characters and other things like used computer parts. At one of the stores they had a mouse pad of a girl’s head and breasts; mouse pads sometimes have this raised area so your wrist doesn’t get carpel tunnel… you get the idea but you should really be asking, “people still use mouse pads?”

A friend back in Spain was telling me that Japanese people have a different view of sex; many guys reject the idea of sex with actual women and many women do not want to get with men because there are still expectations that the women  become housewives. This creates a huge culture of pornography, however here vaginas and penises are blurred. we passed several shops, packed shops, where men were browsing shelves but at least they have a curtain above the door so no one can see the faces of the people  inside. Josh said there was something I had to see since it was such a stereotypical Japanese thing so we went up the escalator into a book shop…of a sort. Everything, wall to wall was animated or illustrated porn, movies, manga (comics), even video games.

In japan there is a super popular Music group called AKB48, which has 48 members. Just for kicks we went into the fan shop…and left as fast as we could. It was a teenie-bopper hell hole with walls lined with the girls pictures.

A few weeks ago Josh participated in a Udon noodle making workshop so we went back to the Udon masters restaurant; the name of which I cant remember. It was just a small shop with a few tables but the brought out a huge bowl of thick “curry” Udon noodles with pieces of tofu and some green onion. In Japan it is perfectly OK to slurp as loud as you can, however spitting and burping are not too common in Japan.

I have been wanting one of those cadet style hats with the short bill to replace my old one. I couldn’t find it exactly but I got one that is similar.

We needed to kill an hour until Josh’s friends were going to meet us so we went to a coffee shop but every one was packed so I suggested a park…they just don’t exist in the city at least in Osaka City. So we headed to a temple instead, where I sketched in my new sketch book for a bit. I got a small one about 6×4 inches but it’s hard to use since there is nowhere to rest your hand when drawing.

After we finished we still had time so we went to Bic Camera a 3 story electronics store. I wish I hadn’t bought a camera bag already, they had so many to choose from. I got a new camera strap and we checked out 3D TVs but I wasn’t too impressed.

Abel and Sinead met us at Spo-Cha a multi story center for entertainment and sports. They have rollerblading/skating, driving range, shooting, archery, batting cages and an arcade along with many other things. you pay 10 bucks and can play  unlimited everything for an hour and a half… remember there are not really parks in the city. I screwed around in the golf area and shot some targets with an air rifle, tried my hand at archery with some arrows that were garbage; the flights were missing on some of them, sadly managing to put only 5/15 or 20 arrows in the target. I really wanted to try the other day at the school but since they practice for a long time to be allowed I thought it would be rude. We all went up to the batting cages. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hit the fast pitch and I didn’t want to make a fool of my self so I just went into the slow pitch which may have made a fool out of me anyways. I was doing awesome smashing them one after the other but on one of the last pitches I made awesome contact but as soon as I did I basically dropped the bat and couldn’t swing through; my left shoulder had a real bad feeling. I am able to move it but if I try to pick up weight in a certain way… well I can’t. Down stairs Josh played some game where you are an angry father and have to hit the table and then flip it as hard as you can, smashing everything in its path. These people have a very different sense of what is fun and considered a game.

Those are supposed to be mushrooms.

For diner we went to a fried cutlet place that served the food with a little bowl of roasted sesamee seeds in a mortar and pestle and you have to grind it up and add some sauce. people in japan usually don’t but it is still legal to smoke in restaurants but of course the lady next to us was. When I said I grew my own lettuce Sinead laughed and spit her tea all over the place. It wasn’t funny; it was timing maybe.

little gem we found walking home from dinner. translated to “fine German goods”

When we got home Josh showed me the criteria for renewing my teaching certificate 6 college credits or 60 in service hours. I may have enough in-service points but I really hope I don’t have to pay for and take an online class to renew my teaching certificate. I really hope I have a copy of my In-service record.

Iconic Glico man near the Glico man bridge

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